Health time bomb looms at Nemamwa Growth Point

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BY TATENDA CHITAGU

RESIDENTS at Nemamwa Growth Point, about 25km out of Masvingo, are sitting on a ticking health time bomb as they have gone for three weeks without running water.

The residents have turned to unprotected water sources.

One of the residents said they have been fetching water from a nearby river while others turned to nearby rural villagers’ shallow wells.

“It is three weeks now counting and we thought the situation will normalise soon, but the water problem has been persistent,” said a resident who declined to be named.

“The whole of Nemamwa and surrounding areas have been affected. A health hazard is looming as we are getting water from unsafe sources like the river and shallow wells. We call for a speedy solution to the problem.”

Surprisingly, the growth point is a few kilometres to the country’s second largest inland water body, Lake Mutirikwi, formerly Kyle.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) supplies water to the growth point.

Called for comment, Zinwa spokesperson Majory Munyonga attributed the water shortages to vandalism of electricity infrastructure that stalled water pumping.

“The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) is aware of the water situation at Nemamwa,” Manyonga said.

“The current water situation is a result of the theft of approximately 80 metres of power cable at the Great Zimbabwe water supply station. Zinwa is very concerned that this is the third time the cable has been stolen in recent months, leading to serious water supply disruptions.”

She added: “As a temporary measure, Zinwa installed a pump in one of the low yield boreholes to help alleviate the situation at Nemamwa.

“The borehole in itself is not sufficient to meet the needs of Nemamwa Growth Point. Work to install an overhead cable is now in progress and the authority expects to be through with the job early next week.

“Zinwa appeals to members of the public to report any cases of vandalism or theft of electricity and water distribution infrastructure and wishes to remind those involved in such practices that they risk a mandatory 10-year jail term,” Munyonga said.